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Health Epidemics & Pandemics

Historical outbreaks of infectious disease throughout the world attest to our continuing vulnerability. Social changes may contribute to an increase in the risk of new or re-emerging diseases. Mass population movements, rural-to-urban migration and accelerated urbanization, population growth, rapid transport, global trade, new food technologies, and new life styles have resulted in contact between more people at faster rates than at any other time in history.

In suitable circumstances, an infection can span entire continents within days or weeks, as influenza periodically demonstrates.

It may take several days for the symptoms of an illness to develop. As a result, the disease may have spread to a large number of people before an epidemic is recognized.

Here are some simple things you can do to aid to prevent the spread of illness and protect you and your loved ones:

  1. Constantly practice good health and hygiene habits. Those in poor health at the time an epidemic breaks out may be more susceptible to the illness. 

  2. Check frequently for official news and information including signs and symptoms of the disease, areas in danger, if medications or vaccinations are being distributed, and where to seek medical attention if you become ill.

You can find more information about health related emergencies at the Orange County Healthcare Agency's website at: